Edinburgh Processions march
University of Edinburgh women were at the forefront of the campaign for voting rights in Scotland in 1918 and one hundred years later it was University of Edinburgh women again leading the march to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage.
Edinburgh College of Art Textiles Programme Director Lindy Richardson was one of 100 women artists commissioned to make a banner for the Processions 2018 marches. Working with staff and students from across the University, and with women from Cornton Vale prison, the banner explored issues of equality, diversity and the lack of voting rights for UK prisoners through embroideries created by the various participants.
On Sunday 10th of June, women and girls in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London came together as part of this celebratory mass participation artwork. Wearing either green, white or violet, the colours of the suffragette movement, the PROCESSIONS appeared as a flowing river of colour through the city streets.
The banner features portraits of famous women including Emily Pankhurst, Frida Kahlo and Malala Yousafzai along with slogans such as "Dump Trump" and "Brain on Board" and the embroidered matriculation signatures of the "Edinburgh Seven", the first group of women to be admitted to a UK University. On the day of the Procession the University banner was chosen to lead the march, headed by Louise Marshall, the piper to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh. Accompanying the banner were outfits made by textile students at Edinburgh College of Art, each of which also drew inspiration from equality, diversity and suffrage themes.
The banner is currently touring as part of an exhibition of all 100 banners commissioned for Processions, after which it will return to the University to as a permanent part of our Collections, bringing the story of the fight for the right to vote up to date for the 21st century.
Embroidered Votes for Women (Instagram)